The fifth and last part in my series "How to Start your Freelance Career"
So far we've learned:
Today I'll tell you how to recycle your old posts and still make money off of them.
Organize your Files First
If you've been blogging and writing articles on the web for a while you're sure to have a large folder of saved articles now.
Organize your folders by client for easier access and this also helps you to remember which article was printed where. For example:
Recycle your old Blog Posts
There are several ways you can reuse your old blog posts:
1. Link back to them in new articles
When you write new posts, think of ways to incorporate your old posts into them. You can do this by either quoting a section of your post (with the link), or hiding a link in a sentence. Be sure the post is relevant to what you're writing about now.
2. Convert them into a new format
Take your blog post and change them into a different format to repost. Format ideas such as:
3. Turn a series of blog posts into an eBook
Have a great teaching series of blog posts online? Collect them all and do a little rewriting and turn it into an eBook for some passive income. You can also address reader questions and comments from those posts as well.
4. Change the Hashtags and SEO keywords
Have some old posts with keywords and hashtags relevant at the time of printing but times have changed and new hashtags and keywords have cropped up? Go back and refresh your posts with these new search words and your old posts will start appearing in web searches again.
5. Improve them
A lot of things could have happened since you've published those blog posts. Such as:
Whatever the reason, go back and improve them and re-post as a brand new post.
Now you have 5 new ideas on how to reuse and recycle your old blog posts.
A little warning though, if these posts were posted on another site that's not yours do be sure that you have permission to still use it. Some sites will not allow republishing and the article fully belongs to them.
Remember in High School and College you were taught the APA writing style? To always have a title page, an abstract summary, the body with introduction, method, results, and discussion - yadayada.
Well, that won't work on the internet so toss all that out.
People get bored easily with large paragraphs and information. Here's a secret - Internet readers are scanners. They want to read quickly and scan the page for interesting tidbits.
So, I'm going to give you some easy pointers on how to write for the internet:
The Best Blog Writing Practices to Know
When writing your blog post keep these pointers in mind.
1. Have a Goal
Every blog post, whether its for a business or a personal blog, must start with a purpose.
This purpose should have your audience in mind and either answer a question they have or address a need of theirs.
2. Have a Catchy Title
I learned this a while ago. You need a catchy title to catch the interest of your readers, like I said, those readers are scanners.
Which one would you be more likely to read?
"My Annoying Day" - yeah, who gives a rat's ass?
"The Time I Blew Up at the Doctor's Office" - a little better, makes you more curious. But not good for search engines.
"Here's Why the Deaf Hate the Medical Community" - Much better for search engines and reader's interest.
3. Have a Relevant Image
If you regularly read my posts you know I usually have an image relevant to my topic.
This helps not only with catching reader's eyes, but with sharing on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram prefer an image with any shared post, otherwise people only see a blank screen - boring.
Three great tips for using images are:
4. Use Links
Use links in your post. Use either your own related blog posts or external sites for references and "proof" for your statements.
The best way to include a link is to just hide it in the middle of a relevant sentence.
For example, "I am a Deafblind Mom." It's best not to use something like "More reading can be found here." (Even though I'm guilty of this sometimes).
5. A Good Layout
Like I mentioned, internet readers are scanners, they scan the page for points of interest. So we need to layout our post for the optimal reading experience.
How to have a good blog layout:
6. Share, Share, Share
After your post goes live - share it on all your social media links. Create accounts just for your blog (separate from your personal account). I have a Facebook Page and a Twitter account for this website.
Another thing to do is to join blog sharing sites related to your blog theme. Bloglovin', BlogHer (for moms), and I'm on Deafread for deaf related blogs.
For more resources for free "learn to blog" classes, check out these:
Continuing with the freelance writing theme of the last two posts, I want to show you how to write blogs and articles quickly.
10 Tips on Writing Faster
Between having several freelance clients, this blog, and my family commitments and soon a busy upcoming SignOn fall schedule - it can get overwhelming.
There's been days where I'm pretty much glued to my office chair typing away and doing internet research.
I had to come up with a better and faster way to write. I found 10 tips:
1. Keep a Notebook
Keep a notebook handy with you and anytime an idea strikes, or an article you come across is a good future reference.
After a while you will have a long list of ideas for future writings.
One great website and browser extension is called Pocket. Anytime you're on a website of interest and you want to save it, click the Pocket extension it will save it for you to read later.
2. Write an Outline
I start my articles with a few beginning sentences and then I make an outline of the points I want to cover, usually these are written as headings.
For example, if I'm writing about survey apps, I'll jot down the ones I know (or have) and then a quick online search for a list of more and jot those down too.
3. Internet Research
If you have notes or saved articles, now you can go back and use these in your writing.
A simple Google search on your Title will create a list of similar articles. I sometimes copy the link and post them at the top of my article to refer back to later.
Copy quotes, research sources, and other ideas that crop up from these searches.
Now that I have some reading sources and ideas, I start typing away. Don't worry about "how good is it" yet. Just write.
After you've written, and either are done with the article, or are stuck for more ideas. Go back and start editing and improving your writing.
If you're not good with this part, download Grammarly which will help you with any spelling and grammar editing.
Another favorite editing site is called Hemingway which will help with sentence structure and more.
6. Know your Audience
One great tip for writing anything is to know who you're writing for. Once you have an idea who will be reading your article, you can then change your tone, your terminology and writing style.
It's best to stick with articles and niches that fit you instead of trying to change for them. Writing on topics you have no interest or knowledge of makes writing harder, longer to write and your unfamiliarity will show up in your writing.
One great tip for writing is to write as if you're having a conversation with someone reading your article. This helps the flow of the writing as well as for clarity.
7. Typing Speed
This sounds like a no-brainer, but a fast typing speed will help you write faster.
My tested typing speed is about 47-50 wpm, but that's following a script. If I'm writing from my own thoughts, I actually type faster.
Want to know your own typing speed? Take this free test.
8. Establish a Writing Space
Set up a writing space that's relatively free of interruptions and make it yours. Set up a space for your computer or laptop, room for writing or jot pads and a coaster for your favorite drink (mine's coffee). Decorate the surroundings with your favorite things, inspiration printouts, or a small plant. Whatever you fancy.
9. Limit Distractions
This is one area I still struggle with. Even though I have my office in the guest bedroom and I can close the door if I choose to. I still get distracted by my own mind wandering away, or by a good song playing on Pandora, or right now - a 2 month old kitten chewing on my foot.
To limit distractions you could:
10. Do it for YOU
You really need to enjoy writing and want to do it. If you're in it just for the money, you will start to hate doing it and avoid it, procrastinate, or even burn out faster.
You need to enjoy the niche you're writing in, enjoy learning new things, and not do it for the pay or the accolades.
Write for your enjoyment and learning and the rest will follow.
Written by Melisa Marzett
Creativity and inspiration go hand in hand. Many people understand the dependence: inspiration has appeared, the creative process is being launched. However, more often it is the other way around: in the creative process, a creative impulse inspiration is born, which brings you a new creative path and gives birth to creative success.
Why are we looking for inspiration?
Inspiration is a special state of mind and body that gives new experiences. Perhaps that's why there are "hunters" for inspiration.
Wikipedia describes inspiration as a state of the highest ascent, when the cognitive and emotional spheres of a person are connected and directed towards the solution of a creative task. A person in a state of creative inspiration seems to carry a "flow", he does not understand everything in his actions, he can not always tell how much time passed (hour, day). Often, with the long stay in a state of creative inspiration, there is also the emergence of insights.
For many people, including me, inspiration is a resource state in which one wants to stay as long as possible. However, life is cyclical, and inspiration has the ability to leave us and to go on vacation for a while. If you could download inspiration for every day, or buy, then what is the price of inspiration would be? However, you can only tune into it and create conditions.
13 Ways to Get Inspired
1. To create your own life, to approach the solution of your problems creatively. Not later, not someday, but right now, today! I like to wake up early in the morning, because at this time my mind is still asleep and I can take advantage of this and give myself to the creative flow.
2. Do something new in your life. Allow yourself to be a child. For example, buy colored paints and paper. Write. Sing. Dance. Do not rate your paintings, artwork and movements of your adult body. Watch the children. When the evaluation of others is not yet important for them, they paint for themselves, sing for themselves, move for themselves. They are passionate about the process. They enjoy and rejoice. This is the state of consciousness that gives creativity. Creativity is a very multifaceted process. By arranging a "creative childhood" for yourself, you will be surprised to find new non-standard solutions for your work, your favorite business, new solutions for home improvement, ideas for creative life in general. Note that it depends only on you. You do not need to study specifically for this purpose (unless you want to become a professional artist, singer or dancer). All you need for this is: your desire, time and space.
3. Relax. Do not join the race to catch everything. You will be in time. The quality of your self-awareness is important, which will eventually become the quantitative result of your activity. It is important to feel good both with the soul and body. Full sleep, nutrition, fresh air, physical training - a pledge of mental resistance to stress and depression.
4. Do not try to live, but live. In life, there are no drafts like in school.
5. Inspiration comes to us with breathing. So straighten your shoulders, open your chest and breathe deeply.
6. Carry out an audit of the responsibilities and obligations that you carry on your back. Everything that is not yours should be remove from your life. Let your wings retake again.
7. Give yourself the right, permission to make the mistakes. The fear of making a mistake "freezes" any endeavors, binds the body and does not allow the creative flow to pass through you. Transfer your mistakes into life experience, on which you will rely further.
8. Watch movies, read books, visit interesting exhibitions.
9. Create yourself a creative space in which you are comfortable.
10. Communicate with interesting and inspiring people.
11. Take action. Creativity is the movement of energy through your consciousness, hands, body. Through your whole being. Do not let this power stagnate inside your vessel. It is not a wine that requires aging.
12. Always keep a notebook and pen near, in order to have time to write down your discoveries and ideas for implementation.
13. Do your favorite things, it will give you strength and energy, in the flow of which you will receive your ideas and inspiration for their implementation.
There is nothing more important for creativity than faith in yourself. The thoughts like: "I'm not a creative person," "I can not" and "it's not necessary for anyone", should be thrown away from your head forever. In the end, you need at least any result, positive or negative, better than doing nothing. Is not it? Of course it is! You should enjoy every moment of life and be creative. Thanks to this, the inspiration will find you!
About the author: Melisa Marzett is a perfect writer, talented woman with a wonderful taste. Enjoy the beauty of written word by reading her posts for livecustomwriting.com and get inspired!
Ever thought of starting your own freelance writing career but don't know where or how to begin?
I've been freelance writing for about 3 years and blogging professionally for 5 years. It took a while to find my footing so I want to help you get started right away.
Start a Blog
The best way to start freelancing is to start a blog or at least a website for your writing portfolio.
1. Website Host
There's a wide variety of website hosting sites out there all offering different packages and prices. It also depends on your experience level as well.
I use Weebly which is an easy drag-and-drop display. You basically pick a template (text, photo, title, etc.) and drop it where you want it. Weebly has several packages depending on how much you want to feature on your site.
So, do a little research and you'll find a website that matches your budget and goals.
2. Pick a Niche
A niche is an area you will focus on in your website. You can write about pretty much anything though, but the most popular niches out there are:
3. Pick a Domain Name
Again, this depends on what your website's niche and goals are. There are several things to keep in mind when choosing a name:
Take my own domain name www.deafblindconfessions.com - it's pretty straightforward and easy to remember even though the website is called "Confessions of a Deaflblind Mother". Using that as a domain name would just be too long.
If you're using the page solely for your writing portfolio, the easiest domain would be your name if it's easy to spell - JohnSmithWriting.com. Otherwise pick something that involves writing or your profession - JohnsWritingService.com, or even if your your name is hard to spell, go ahead and establish a domain with the full name and you can also get a alternate domain with the most common spelling of your name and have that redirect to the real site. Another option is to join an established site and create your portfolio there.
3. Set up your Site
There are many books and websites out there to help you set up your website (as well as your webhost's help center.
This post will explain how to set your site up for monetization too.
Find Freelance Jobs
Now that you have your site up and a few writing posts up to use in your starting portfolio, it's time to find freelance writing jobs.
* Blogmutt - Level 1 & 2 writes 250-400 words for $10.50 each post.
* Upwork - Set up your profile and bid on various writing projects (and other gigs).
* A list of Freelance Resources to get started.
* Make $500 a Month Writing Online
The great thing about freelance writing is that you can write as many or as little as you want.
If you still have questions, feel free to send them to me!
I've decided to do another 30-day challenge. Yesterday I posted this on the Facebook Page:
So, if you can go over there and give your input, or write a comment below on what you'd like to see, I'd appreciate it!
Let's Do This!